THE BOBOLINKS ARE BACK
The bobolinks came back in May. This is a really big deal because these amazing birds started on their super-long journey to their summer home, including our area, in February 2020.
They had to take about three months to travel 5000 miles. Here is the clincher: much of their journey is right across the Gulf of Mexico, over endless stretches of water. They wintered in southern Brazil.
When they arrive on our farm, they sing their cheerful “I made it again; I made it again” song. The cheer of their song is enough to dispel sadness. Bobolinks are said to sing at their best when in flight.
They came to our farm on May 12. I waited all winter and early spring for their return. I am really relieved and happy when they finally get here. They sing when they arrive!
The male is easy to recognize. He is like a blackbird, except he has white feathers on his back and wings, mixed with black feather. He wears a yellow kerchief on the back of his head. It will be helpful to see a picture of him to help with identification.
His mate is covered in orange-yellow feathers with brown streaks on her back and wings. Their food consists of grubs, grasshoppers, army worms, and insects. They are real assets for farmers.
Their nests are small and cuplike set right on the ground. They are nearly impossible to see in hayfields. I ask our neighbors who crop our land to wait until June 30 for their first cutting of hay—to insure that the baby bobolinks are mature enough to fly off when farm machinery passes over their nests.
Our bobolinks will stay until mid-August to return to their summer home in South America.